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The Heart of Valor (Confederation) Hardcover – 5 Jun 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Daw Books; First Edition edition (5 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756404355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756404352
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,051,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"If you re after some great science fiction military action, with a good sense of humour, then give this one a look." --Starburst Magazine

"If the quality of this story is anything to go by then I really can't wait to see what the next installment is going to be like in the series. Once again Tanya Huff has released a well written and paced tale that the science fiction fans out there can really get their teeth into." --Curiosity of a Social Misfit --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tanya Sue Huff (born 1957) is a prolific Canadian fantasy author of over 25 novels. Her stories have been published since the late 1980s, including five fantasy series and one science fiction series. One of these, the Blood Books series, featuring detective Vicki Nelson, was adapted for television under the title Blood Ties. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Tanya Huff rarely disappoints and - indeed - this is another page turner. I'm not particularly into Military SF but I like Torin Kerr, Huff's rough, tough Marine sergeant. She's already had two outings in `Valor's Choice' and `The Better Part of Valor' both of which I read in a Huff-binge when first I discovered her a few years ago. She's a storyteller with an eye for detail, a good insight into character and thoughtful world-building. One of the things that both attracts and repels me about Mil-SF is the alphabet-soup language. Did the NCO stay with the VTA or did she go back for the remains of the PFC? And when the gunny is off duty in the SRM should she be thinking about the CSO or worrying about getting the KC-7s safely back beyond the ZP? Combine this with a large cast of characters - some from previous Valor novels - that include three different races sporting unfamiliar name types and my head is in danger of exploding. I can just about keep up, carried forward by the tremendous pace of the action, but I do have the occasional WTF moment! Despite the totally believable but sometimes hard-to-remember military dialogue there's a good mystery in this book. A training exercise gone wrong turns into a nightmare and newly promoted Gunnery Sergeant Kerr, (only there as a temporary aide to Major Svensson who is on a field-test to work out regrown body parts after major battle trauma) has to more than babysit a bunch of untried recruits when the expected test scenarios turn lethal. In the end it's all fall-out from something that happened in the last book (so I recommend starting with the other two Valor books if you can and they're well worth reading, too). There's a new Torin Kerr book out in 2009 - Valor's Trial - and I look forward to seeing where the overarching story takes us.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I admit I am an unabashed fan of Tanya Huff. Whether she's writing fantasy - the "Quarter" series - witchlit - "Blood" and "Smoke" series or the Valor books, of which this is the third (you need to read the other 2 first to make sense of this one), Huff makes her characters come alive. Gunnery Sergeant Kerr is as tough a military scifi heroine as you could want; but all the backfills and quirks of a real personality are there, tucked away in mental asides. Its got all you would want if you like Davids Weber and Drake or Elizabeth Moon - plenty of action, blood, militech and surprises, but the secondary characters are fully formed, even if they are going to end up in a bodybag, which in this universe shrinks to a pocket-sized cylinder because "no marine gets left behind". Clever, gripping and as realistic as space opera is ever going to be - in this timeline anyway.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The third of Tanya Huff's Confederation series. For those who haven't encountered the series yet it's a boots' eye view military sci-fi, heavy on command structure but always viewed from the NCO/grunts on the ground perspective. Those looking for anything deep or meaningful should look away now. It has no noticeable political or philosophical agenda beyond war is hell but someone's got to do it. It follows the career of Torin Kerr, a female career military NCO. The first time we meet her in the first book she's already pretty much god on legs to the rank and file of Sh'quo Company. Imagine Ellen Ripley if she'd signed on with the Colonial Marine Corp rather than the Space Merchant Navy and add a few extra cans of kick-ass. She's good at what she does, quick thinking and dedicated to keeping her people alive.
The Confederation is at war with another bunch of aliens called The Others. Both groups are made up of many different types of aliens. The Confederation is a peaceful alliance of cooperation whereas The Others are made up of conquered species. Unskilled in the arts of war The Confederation recruits several species who can beef up their aptitude for combat. Top on their list of potential cannon fodder *cough* allies are a bunch of skilled bruisers called Humans. Also recruited are the di'Taykan who are sort of like sex mad Vulcans with emotionally influenced hairdos. Lastly are the Krai, an arboreal species who will eat anything ... apart from stones.
This one suffered a bit from its own plot set-up. In the first couple of books one of the most entertaining aspects of the book was Torin's talent at riding herd on the local wet behind the ears or glory seeking brass. This one has none of that.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am still loving this series. Torin, newly promoted (though she really would rather stay away from being top brass) to gunny sargeant has agreed to accompany Major Svensson as an aide to Crucible. Crucible is the training planet for the Marines. That's where they put all their learning to practical applications. The planet sounds kind of cool - the marines have a few different training situations complete with terrain and weather variations;winter with below zero temperatures or tropical with all the accompanying bugs and heat. There are drones and other dangerous things that are programmed to run certain scenarios to put the marines through their paces - it's supposed to be dangerous, but non-deadly.

At the same time Torin's new man - Craig Ryder - is wondering where that escape pod is. The one he used to escape Big Yellow and bring help back to the others. Weirdly, it seems that only ones who remember this escape pod are him, Torin and Presit (the reporter). Strange. In fact, Torin was almost in trouble over asking questions, something that makes her think she's being used,making her angry.

Back on Crucible, Major Svensson (who has recently regrown almost his entire body and nervous system - I love futuristic sci-fi) seems just a bit odd to Torin. She's being his aide, managing him and protecting the civilian doctor who is monitoring him while the recruits they are accompanying are being put through the beginnings of a training program. The Staff Sargeant in charge of the recruits is the same staff sargeant that Torin trainined under years before, and she's surprised that he's still in the marines (something to do with Di'Taykan culture and his age). In fact, she finds something off about him also....
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